St. Thomas hosts event designed to interest girls in engineering

St. Thomas hosts event designed to interest girls in engineering

The Society of Women Engineers came to the University of St. Thomas yesterday, June 3, on the second stop of its national “Wow! That’s Engineering!” 2007 tour.

To support the initiative, Mayor Chris Coleman proclaimed yesterday as “Wow! That’s Engineering! Day” in St. Paul. The event was designed to encourage girls between the ages of 11 and 14 to become more interested in engineering and technology.

The “Wow! That’s Engineering!” event was held in Brady Educational Center. It brought the engineering and technological achievements of women to life as girls interacted with leading female engineers and participated in activities designed to spark interest in the engineering field.

From learning about solar energy to making their own lip gloss, girls learned that engineering involves more than working behind a computer. The series recently made a stop in Atlanta and will continue to Riverside, Calif.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development forecasts a 20 percent to 33 percent increase in scientific and technical occupations in Minnesota in 10 years. Meanwhile, only 11 percent of eighth grade students and 21 percent of 10th grade students expressed interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or math disciplines.

Less than 10 percent of American engineers today are women, and only 20 percent of engineering degrees are earned by women.